On Friday and Saturday I pushed the boundaries of my comfort.
I went to a blogger’s house for a pre-conference happy hour with Flip Flop Wines and I didn’t know anyone there.
The next day I went to a conference with 200 strangers.
I’m so glad that I did it. I’m so thankful that I was uncomfortable and nervous and apprehensive because I got so much out of it. I don’t think I would have had as good of a time at the conference if I hadn’t met so many lovely people the night before. Jen hosted us, and I met Erin, Amy, Stephanie, Mimi, Jamie & Lindsi, Jo, Kristin and Kristin number two and Lyndsay. Whew that was a lot of links.
But having those faces I recognized when I walked thru the door at Allina Commons for Minnesota Blogger’s Conference made all the difference.
But more so than meeting these lovely people, that I hope to see again in the future, I remembered why I started blogging in the first place. While all the sessions were great it was Kate Hopper‘s that really made it all worthwhile for me. I remembered Ms. McCue, my eight grade creative writing teacher, and the whole reason why I started writing. To write. Not to be caught up in all of the drama and posturing of blogging.
I’m not a mommy blogger. I write about more than my children. I don’t want to write about my children because there is nothing to say but an endless list of cute phrases, adorable photos, etc. I am lucky enough that my children aren’t ill, they aren’t anything but perfect and who wants to read about perfect? Not me.
I want to write, to write. To tell stories. To weave descriptions and paint images and stir emotions. I have stories to tell, and I want to tell them. Sometimes they will be a recap of my day, of an event, of workplace drama because that’s my present. But I hope to write more and more about my past. More and more about what defines me. My past is not lost and forgotten. It’s ever present even subtly under the surface.
In Kate’s session we were given two writing exercises that I really wish I had been more forceful and risen my hand to read out loud. My timidness got the best of me yet again. I’m going to share them now. Unedited. Raw. Just as I had quickly scribbled them on a spare sheet of paper and then retyped them hurriedly on my iphone.
Our first task was we were given 15 minutes to describe viscerally a childhood memory. I chose this one:
There are smells that transport me to my grandparent’s bathroom. That take me to a completely different world. Ammonia. Bleach. Those hard to inhale raw smells of sterilization. Of scrubbed dirt. The cleanliness of a Polish bathroom. And suddenly I’m naked in a bathtub starring at yellow tiles and photos torn from magazines. Edges finely cut and delicately taped to the wall. The ripple of steam that wrinkles the glossy ad of a better place. I soak and soak, prune my fingers till my skin resembles my grandmother’s. I am so many miles from home, from my parents. It’s been weeks since I spoke English immersed in these summer days. The only grandchild of an only son. I tune out the sounds of yelling and tears. A world were one stays married despite love long lost. I am in this world. In scalding water, crinkled fingers and rippled photos. A place were bleach is serenity.
Our next task was to describe someone. I chose Bear:
His hair is a mess of yellow curls surrounding his head like a halo. I hate the term towhead to describe the soft golden swirls that crown his eyes. His bright blue eyes. Large and encircled by long ebony lashes. Eyes that girls would dream to have and one day will melt in. He has a little turned up nose that I would kiss everyday if I could. Tiny hands that fit mine perfectly but suddenly seem mammoth in comparison to his new baby sister. He is always running, a yellow blur in my house. Jumping and shouting and laughing. I find myself telling him he’s having too much fun and to quiet down. His infectious laughter. Even when sullen I’m drawn to him. To his elevated eyebrows, to his smirk. He has a way of pulling me in despite how tired or frustrated I am. Despite wanting to curl up in my bed and fall into a haze of Bravo. He pulls me out of my solitude to engage me in yet another story of Bakugans. Yet another picture he drew that resembles nothing I’ve seen before. To tell me a knock knock joke that always seems to end with bananas.
My biggest takeaway:
You can change the world with words. We’re not bloggers were online writers.